A jail is no place for the mentally ill

  • Article by: RICH STANEK
  • Updated: November 24, 2012 - 7:23 PM
  • 26
  • Comments

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hewonwelostNov. 24, 12 7:27 PM

Have them stay with you, Rich.

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mandansmomNov. 24, 12 8:10 PM

What is it about Americans that we are so all-or-nothing? This is just like so many other issues. People with mental illnesses should receive care in the "least restrictive environment possible." That doesn't mean there is no longer a role for institutional care. But we threw that out under the naive illusion that everybody would prosper in the community.

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PatitodehuleNov. 24, 1211:05 PM

Rich Stanek is 100% right about this. Mandansmom is right except that institutional care was not thrown out "under the naive illusion that everyone would prosper in the community." Problem: institutions are expensive and so are community facilities to take care of those removed from institutions. In the deinstitunalization fad of the early 1970's, the institutions were downsized, but no community or state wanted to provide for care in the community. No one stepped forwsrd to take care of them. Whether we call it socialized medicine or anything else, we must do this or suffer the consequences. Social justice demands it. It is the job of the Departmant of Human Services, and not the Department of Corrections to do this. It is the moral duty of taxpayers to support it.

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furguson11Nov. 24, 1211:39 PM

The 116 beds at the Anoka Regional Treatment Center cost 1,020/day per the MN Department of Human Services. The Sheriff's Jail bills at a rate of $113/day. Per MN NAMI, the state prison per diem is $85/day. Minnesota’s public mental health system provides services to only 22 percent of adults who live with serious mental illnesses in the state, spending $721 million in 2006 (2.8% of all state spending that year). Unfortunately the reason why we arrest and jail adults with mental illness is because it is cheaper to occasionally arrest and jail people with severe mental illness than it costs to provide ongoing community-based or hospital care.

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furguson11Nov. 25, 1212:51 AM

Correction for a typo...the state prison rate is $85/day per the MN Department of Corrections. Per a MN NAMI report, Minnesota’s public mental health system provides services to only 22 percent of adults who live with serious mental illnesses in the state, spending $721 million in 2006 (2.8% of all state spending that year).

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stplooklistnNov. 25, 12 5:59 AM

Deinstitutionalization may have been the way to go for some, but there are many who are in group homes that have a revolving door to the hospital and back. Those persistently and difficult to treat MI need a structured setting staffed by trained professionals.

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greg62Nov. 25, 12 6:41 AM

"The 116 beds at the Anoka Regional Treatment Center cost 1,020/day per the MN Department of Human Services." _______ Lets see, if we put 30% of our prisoners there at 1/3 a million a year per prisoner, that can't cost taxpayers much, right?

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obamafone4meNov. 25, 12 7:27 AM

Having a mental illness does not cause you to be a criminal.

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furguson11Nov. 25, 12 8:32 AM

"obamafone4me-Having a mental illness does not cause you to be a criminal." An important point, the vast majority of persons with mental health problems are not involved with the criminal justice system. Even most of the persons in the shelter system with mental health issues do not have significant contact with the police. It's actually a very tiny percentage of folks who have mental health issues who get arrested and forcibly committed.

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ephrakerNov. 25, 1211:06 AM

Rich doesn't want to deal with the problem but doesn't really offer any solutions. Is he finally getting tired of trying to expand the Sheriff's Department to include more and more redundant services? On the one hand he should be commended for enlightening the public to a real problem but on the other hand it is pretty self serving. Speaking of not following the order of the courts, would Rich like to speak about how his jail releases 5th degree domestic assault suspects in violation of MN state law every single day of the year?!

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